News & Analysis

  1. unicorn

    Your chances of becoming a unicorn? Just over 1%

    “A million dollars isn’t cool. You know what’s cool? A billion dollars.The Social Network is a pretty silly movie. But in addition to be being beautifully shot the film also captured — and probably helped create — the new obsession with starting not just a successful business, not just a wildly successful business, but a stupidly ridiculously successful business worth a billion dollars. Investors are kept up at night thinking about the billion dollar companies — today we call them unicorns —…
  3. elizabethwarren

    “These are not startups.” Elizabeth Warren is worried about big tech — and big banks — influencing politics

    This morning, Massachusetts Democratic senator and human Wall Street bullshit meter Elizabeth Warren stopped into Greentown Labs, a clean-tech hardware incubator space in Somerville — Boston’s version of Brooklyn. The senator, who has continually been forwarded as a potential threat to Hilary Clinton’s seemingly preordained Democratic Party presidential nomination, took a tour of the manufacturing, prototyping, and shared office space, meeting and greeting some of the startups that call the facility home. While Warren has denied any intention of running…
  4. seymour-hersh

    Seymour Hersh and the dangers of corporate muckraking

    “The Times wasn’t nearly as happy when we went after business wrongdoing as when we were kicking around some slob in government.” — Seymour Hersh In its original meaning, “muckraking journalism” was all about exposing the awful power that corporations, trusts, and monopolies exercised over people and the broader public interest. So why doesn’t Seymour Hersh, considered the premiere “muckraker” of the past few decades, turn his fearless muckraking guns on private corporate power? Ida Tarbell dug deep into Rockefeller’s Standard Oil…
  5. press-release

    Here’s some of the stuff Google announced today

    Google’s annual developer conference is kicking off, and with it came the customary keynote unveiling new products and features. Some of the things announced include: Photos splitting from Google+; Google Now becoming more ubiquitous on Android; an Internet of Things platform; and more. [Source: The Verge]
  7. uber-bay-area-price-cuts

    Following controversy and stiff competition, Uber makes its app more friendly to hearing-impaired drivers

    Uber has updated its mobile applications with new features meant to make it easier for deaf and hard-of-hearing drivers to communicate with passengers. In addition to making the driver’s phone light up when a passenger is available, the update will remove the ability for consumers to call their driver, and will instead encourage them to send a message with specific instructions. Riders will also be asked to name their destination via text instead of speaking them aloud. Drivers in San…
  8. pando-inside-baseball

    Inc lets publicist promote conferences she’s paid to represent

    Inc has allowed a publicist to include several conferences, including the 36|86 conference and Venture Atlanta, in a list of summer’s must-see events without disclosing that she’s being paid to promote them. [Source: Southern Alpha]
  9. review

    Already a hit in Europe, Trustpilot gets $73.5M to become “the review site for the entire online world”

    The last time you were in a new city and wanted to find dinner, what did you do? Walk to into the closest storefront with a blazing “PIZZA” sign on the window? Probably not. What you most likely did was reach into your pocket, pull out your phone, and then search for whatever you were hankering for on Yelp, Foursquare, or Urbanspoon. And then I bet you picked whichever place had the best reviews, or — in an even less time consuming…
  11. press-release

    Amazon makes same-day shipping free in select cities

    Amazon has made same-day shipping free to Prime subscribers in Boston, San Francisco, New York, and 11 other “metro areas” around the United States. The offer is available only to consumers who order $35 worth of products; otherwise they’ll pay the same $5.99 fee as before. [Source: The Los Angeles Times]
  12. wearables

    Jawbone files a desperate lawsuit claiming FitBit stole sensitive information

    Jawbone is getting desperate. The maker of UP fitness trackers has filed a lawsuit alleging that several of its employees took sensitive information about the company’s “supply chain, gross margins, product lineup and market predictions” with them after they were recruited by rival FitBit. Jawbone names FitBit and five of its former employees in the lawsuit. It’s seeking an unspecified amount of damages in the suit and is also pursuing an injunction preventing those former employees from disclosing…
  14. strictly-business

    CA Technologies to acquire Rally Software for $480M

    CA Technologies has reached an agreement to acquire Rally Software, a Boulder-based programming tools and services company, for $480 million. The deal is expected to close in September. [Source: Computerweek]
  15. elsewhere

    CNN: IRS hack started in Russia

    The IRS hack that led to an estimated $50 million in fraudulent tax returns and compromised the personal information of 100,000 people is believed to have started in Russia, according to a CNN report citing two unidentified sources familiar with the investigation into the hack. [Source: CNN]
  16. Overheard

    Sprint will eventually nix unlimited data

    Sprint chief executive Marcelo Claure said yesterday that the wireless carrier might eventually have to phase out the unlimited data plans it offers today. It, along with T-Mobile, are the only well-known carriers still offering unlimited data plans; AT&T and Verizon got rid of them years ago. [Source: The Verge]
  18. press-release

    Google’s search results will soon have a ‘buy’ button

    Google has confirmed that it will soon introduce a button that allows consumers to purchase goods directly from its search results page. The Wall Street Journal reports that the button will first debut on mobile, and is meant to facilitate the purchase of items found via Google’s advertisements. [Source: WSJ]
  19. virtualmurder

    Facebook reaffirms its commitment to virtual reality with new acquisition

    Facebook has acquired Surreal Vision for an undisclosed sum to bolster its Oculus division’s virtual reality technologies. Surreal Vision will join Oculus’ research department in Washington and will remain focused on computer vision. The Wall Street Journal speculates that the acquisition is part of Facebook’s efforts to position Oculus as more than a gaming tool. Instead, it will create a new experience for streaming videos, live events, and other types of media. Here’s what Oculus had…
  20. elsewhere

    FCC targets robocalls

    The Federal Communications Commission has introduced a proposal that would allow consumers to avoid the robocalls, text messages, and other unsolicited communications that nag them throughout the day. It would also allow phone companies to build technologies that can automatically filter out these irritating missives for their customers. [Source: The Los Angeles Times]

The Week in Review